Parenting style

As parents, we all do things differently. There is no right or wrong way to put a child to sleep. There is no perfect day or age to start to potty train, no easy way to transition from crib to bed, no way to stop breastfeeding without shedding a tear, and it's impossible to return to work without feeling guilty.

The challenges, milestones, and achievements we experience as parents are more or less the same in every household, even if we don't do things the same way.

There are certain things I do that others may not do. Like:

1. I have never put mis-matched pj's on my children. No matter what. I can't stand the thought of my children in pj's that don't match. If I have do an emergency change at 3 a.m. because of a diaper leak, I'll change the entire set of pj's, not just the bottom. I know, I'm insane, right?

2. If my child gets his pj top wet (because he loves to play in the sink after his pj's are on, of course!) I will not change his pj's, but I will blow-dry the wet spots away. I learnred this trick in a Baby-Sitters Club book. And it's so much fun to watch the wet spots disappear!

3. Every time I go grocery shopping with my children, I will disinfect the shopping cart. Every single time. I have a serious case of OCD!

4. My boys will open and eat whatever they want while we're shopping. This includes cupcakes, bread, grated cheese (very messy!) and even yogurt - yes, yogurt. I've had to use my finger to feed my baby yogurt in the grocery store before! Many people stare at me like I'm crazy, but? I manage to kill a good 30 minutes in the store, get everything I need, and leave with two kids who, for the most part, behaved.

5. I sometimes scare my children into eathing their food. "Dimitry, you have to eat all your meat, or else the mamouta will come!" (Mamouta = monster, in Greek.)

6. I tell my children I love them all day long. I praise them for the small things they do. I tell them how proud of them I am all the time. I am an overly enthusiastic mom!

7. I always arrive at the park prepared - toys, water, snacks, wipes. I wish everyone remembered to come to the park with their own toys and snacks!

8. I'm not a fan of 'CIO". I understand the lack of sleep - I haven't slept more than 5 hours straight in over 4 and a half years. I'm tired, too. But if my baby is crying, he needs something. Sometimes, it's just a hug. Other times, a diaper needs to be changed, or a tummy needs to be fed. If my child is crying, I will make sure he is comforted right away.

9. I don't have patience for people who have no patience for children on planes. I hate receiving dirty looks from other passengers when my child cries on the plane! And I will always win the evil eye stare down, I promise you! And yes, I do let my child walk up and down the aisle in only a onesie and socks, thank you very much!

10. I hate receiving parenting advice from non-parents. Hearing things like: "You're on mat leave? Lucky you, you get to do nothing all day long!" makes me want to scream! Until you have a child, you will understand just how much you can do in a 24 hour period - on such little sleep!

What about you? What's your parenting style - what are things that might be unique to your style?
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Calgary Rants said...

"I learnred this trick in a Baby-Sitters Club book" thats funny!

I am with you...who cares if the PJ's do not match. This is real life!


Daddy Files said...

Nice list for the most part, although I totally disagree on CIO. It depends on their age, but kids ABSOLUTELY do cry for no reason, or simply because they don't want to go to bed. They don't always need something, sometimes they're just manipulative (obviously I'm not talking about newborns here). CIO may be hard at first, but well worth it for some.

And the avoidance of mismatched PJs made me laugh because my wife is the same way. I could care less, I dress my son in non-matching stuff all the time. I'll never understand the need to match constantly but I know you're far from the only one.

Francis Anderson said...

I love how we are all different yet share so many similarities as Moms! I love being my boys "biggest cheerleader!!" I praise them everyday and before drop off at school I still ask "I am the happiest person on earth why?" boys:"because you're our Mom" ;) (I don't take parental advise from nonparents-period!! LOL)

OHmommy said...

So this must be the reason behind every Greek man, I have met, loving his Mom so much. ;)

parkerposie said...

Nothing I hate more than someone telling me I am lucky to have a year off and how much of a "vacation" it must be! Yeah right!! Do they think I sit around all day eating bon bons and watching Oprah? Being a mom is hard. Oh, and the feeling guilty about returning to work. Let's just say I started back to work last week and today I am off, because my son has a cold and I felt guilty leaving him at daycare. He won't get the snuggles there!

Chandra said...

Hi Louika! It's been a while since I've commented...soooo busy!

I completely agree about the pj thing! Drives me nuts when things don't match, even if it is the middle of the night, what happened if you had to escape for some reason and my child had on a spiderman shirt with batman pants...the horror!(serioulsy!!)

My kid LOVES playing in water as well, AFTER the pj's are one and the same with you, I WILL NOT change them. I don't even dry them, IF he wants to make that mess and get wet then he can suffer through (I try to teach them a lesson but it never works!)

My biggest pet peeve is when parents look at me in church when my 3 yr old gets a little whiney. I even had a fellow parishoner 'shhh' my kid before...NOW that made me MAD! As if my kid were the only one making noise. How rude!

SC said...

I love this post Lou! I am with you on number 1. I always want the pjs to match - always. I don't feed my son from the grocery cart, but I do bring snacks for him to eat while he is in the grocery cart.

The babysitters club comment is hilarious! I mean if Kristy and Mallory can do it, why not us!!!

Number 6, I am with you too... I do a lot of praising right now for the smallest things, and I often wonder if I will do this with a second child, but I guess your case you are!

Great post... thanks for the laugh today!

Accustomed Chaos said...

I am the opposite on the pj's - i could care less if they match as long as they are comfortable enough to give me a few hours of rest.

Totally agree with the CIO - nighttime parenting is just as important as day time parenting.

I usually walk the kids to the grocery store so we have a snack before we go to avoid the 'hunger tantrum' in the store.

I am also VERY into the praise. I make sure i tell my kids throughout the day as well as when i tuck them into bed how proud they made me today. i think it makes all the difference in their world. :D

Devan @ Accustomed Chaos

Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

We take our iphones and give them to the boys in the grocery store. Works wonders. They are quiet and move along, playing games...! Great list!

T Rex Mom said...

My parenting style is very similar. I do many of those same things - I can so relate to the PJs thing - my kids' always have to match - even the baby who wears footie jammies - her undershirt has to have the matching ducks!

Anonymous said...

I'm with you on the mismatched pj's, or mismatched anything for that matter. Drives me crazy. Drives my husband crazy that it drives me crazy. He refuses to dress my kids because I'm always harping about what should go together.

I will admit though, that we are pretty strict with our kids. We set firm boundaries and try as much as possible to stick to them. I was raised in a very strict household, but I always knew that my parents loved and would support me no matter what. However, full disclosure, my husband is MUCH better at the whole discipline thing than I am.

becca said...

I was totally like you with the mismatched PJ's until Hannah decided she wanted to decide what to wear together and so now I have to pick my battles. My thing I'm obsessed with is having Hannah's hair UP and out of her face when she's in public. I'm obsessed with having her look neat and put together in public. This includes having a clean face, clean finger nails and a clean NOSE! A drippy nose drives me NUTS.

Great list! I feel like I know you so much better now!

Mom2Miles said...

OMG, blowdrying the PJs made me laugh!! I did not shed a tear when I stopped breastfeeding, I rejoiced! And CIO never appealed to me, either. Just couldn't do it. As for babies crying on planes, I am SO grateful for the friendly strangers & now I am one. I will hold your baby, play peek-a-boo, read him a book, whatever helps.

I do get annoyed w/ non-parents' reactions sometimes. Like I just read a blog where someone was complaining about kids being wild & noisy in a restaurant. I'm sure those kids' parents were WAY more annoyed & mortified than this diner. Give them a break.

Lady Mama said...

The part about them eating yogurt in the grocery store made me laugh! I can just picture it. I think I'm a pretty laid back mum - I've learned not to let things (like dirty looks from non-parents when my kids are melting down) bother me. And like you, I'm very enthusiastic and praise my kids a lot. Great post!

Jessica said...

This is why I love you, L! You remind me of all of the Greek women in my family. Nurturing those babes so well.

The PJ thing is a little looney though, I have to say! I will agree that it bugs me when the pjs don't match, but during a rough night they will sleep in a t-shirt and jammy-pants if that is all that is available!

I'm torn on CIO. Clearly, I've never let my own kids CIO. I say clearly because I am fairly sleep deprived, and also have slept through an entire night MAYBE 4 times since J was born 3 years ago.

I'll probably meet you 80% of the way. When I used to use shopping carts FO SHO they would be sanitized! But I wouldn't feed them yogurt whilst grocery shopping. I might give them pretzels though!

You've got big love for those boys and they are SO lucky.

Scattered Mom said...

I joke around with my teenager a lot because I find that well placed humor works FAR better with teens.

Once we were in a line at the store and I gave him a poke when he wasn't looking, which resulted in him poking me, then a shove, and a shove back, and us standing there giggling like fools.

Then the clerk gave Jake the dirtiest look ever as if he was somehow some rotten person because he shoved his mom.

*sigh* People never give teens a break. Ever.

Nenette AM said...

OMG, I'm totally with you with #6, #8, and #10!

My kids never had cribs. They always slept with us, and we had a family bed. Needless to say, hubby and I had to find other opportunities for some "alone time", but we were okay with that. It forced us to get creative... the kitchen, the bathroom, the livingroom. You get my meaning. :)

Also, I put my kids outfits together for them, but they could choose whatever socks they wanted. They could even mix and match if they wanted.

Eve said...

Love this! I'm exactly the same with PJ's. They HAVE to match. When my Husband is doing bedtime this isn't the case, but I always change our son again if I have too. He will match! Same with clothes actually... How can he not see that the red shoe's are not going to match that yellow top?!

Great post Loulou :)

Rach (Mommy Learns to Blog) said...

What a great post! I love that you are YOU, and true to yourself and what works for you! I just read an amazing book, Mother Daze: Tales From the Imperfect Playground. It was such a refreshing book about parenthood and moms, and really high-fives us moms as the amazing beings we are!

We may all differ in our parenting methods, but at the end of the day, what matters is that we're doing what works for us. And we should be toasting each other for doing this incredibly difficult, yet indescribably rewarding job!

BTW, my daughter is ALWAYS in matching jammies, and I'm a stickler about her looking as perfect (read stylish and adorable) whenever we leave the house. Of course at the end of the day when I pick her up at preschool, I tend to cringe at what's become of her!!!


Sarah said...

I usually let my daughter have goldfish in the grocery store, she's happy and it's not too messy.

I am crazy about stains on my kids clothes. It drives me nuts.

Don't really care about mismatched PJ's. Not a big deal for me. said...

I would say I am engaged but laid is my husband. We will let the baby cry for 5-10 minutes and she thankfully goes back to sleep because I cannot imagine not getting more than 5 hours of sleep for that long. You are incredible!

Shannon @ AnchorMommy said...

ARGH! The people who think a baby leave is like a mini vacation? I want to scratch their eyeballs out. Yeah, right. Having a newborn around is a total piece of cake. YEAH, RIGHT.

You're totally right, though. Everyone's parenting styles and approaches are different. There is no magic formula to this lifestyle!

anya said...

Oh man...there is probably a lot of things I do that are "unique", like giving my toddler a snack right before supper because I'm tired of the whining. On the other side, no one loves my kids more than me!!

Theta Mom said...

The monster will come, I love that! ;) I'm a freak with the grocery cart, too and mis-matched pj's? Never. ;)

CaraBee said...

I never could do cry it out, either. It meant a lot of bad sleep for me, but I just couldn't listen to my baby wail. Now, if she were still waking up multiple times a night, I might be singing a different tune, but as a newborn? NO WAY.

Chantal said...

We all do things differently but in the end we love our kids right!

Karma & Adam said...

Love your blog, Loukia! Just so you know, I think you deserve an Honest Scrap award, and am happy to bestow it upon you : ) If you want to check it out, visit me at

designHER Momma said...

love your list. I'm totally tracking with ya with the grocery cart - but am pretty lax with what they want to sleep in.

Liz said...

Love your thoughts. So far, you sound like an amazing mom!!

I think the most important thing is that my kids know how much I love them and how amazing I think they are. All I do must help them love themselves and feel confident about who they are and can become.

Love your blog. I'll definitely be back to read more.

Anonymous said...

I think, I would have been able to guess all of that about you. I think it is so evident what a dedicated mom you are. I wish I had tiny ones to dote on still. I try with mine, but then I remember that part of the fun right now is how independent they have become. We are definitely a huggy, lovey, kissy family. It makes me so sad when friends tell me that they don't tell their kids they love them often.

Tiaras said...

I have to tell you something - I have read some of your other posts on your mothering style - and girl - we are one in the same. I'm right with you on 1-10 sister! (here is a hint - throw a ziploc baggie in your LV with a couple of plastic spoons!)

Elaine A. said...

I'm one of those moms who never arrives at the park prepared. ;-) Okay, maybe "never" is to strong of a word... Rarely might be better...

Also, my oldest puts his p.j.s on himself now and I don't care what he wears as long as both top and bottom are covered! HA!

Kate Coveny Hood said...

I let the kids run wild sometimes. I know that I should be talking about safety (we do have a glass coffee table) and being gentle with each other - but I like to see them having fun. I like to see them playing together. My oldest has a hard time with this when it comes to other kids and I makes me so happy to see him laughing and playing with other children. So if they spill water all over the floor or break something - so be it. I'll chase them all downstairs yelling at them to go be wild in the playroom and then secretly smile when I hear them having a good laugh at my expense.

And probably the MOST annoying thing that anyone has ever said to me was "I wish *I* could have a three month vacation." This came from my boss right before my first maternity leave. Lucky for her - I had no idea what I was in for and wasn't offended.

Krystyn said...

Maternity leave= vacation? Ha. That's just plain funny.

Matched pjs don't bother me!

And, people that don't get kids? Totally irk me.

About the CIO...we've done it. And it usually happened for a day or two and then they learned how to go back to sleep...and we all sleep better.

It is quite obvious you love your boys with all your heart!